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Dramatic drop in temperatures could bring snow to lower elevations

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Posted at 3:47 PM, Feb 18, 2023

Good afternoon, Central Coast!

We have a couple more mild days ahead. Light offshore flow will continue through Monday providing the area with warmer than normal daytime 
temperatures but still chilly nights.

A big cooling trend will begin Tuesday as a low pressure system will track south from Canada. Since its path is mainly focused over land, there is not a ton of moisture associated with it, but we do still have some rain possible.

Winds will be increasing Tuesday afternoon as that system approaches. Advisory and possibly warning level winds could develop overnight Tuesday. Windy and even colder conditions will continue into Wednesday.

There will likely be a rapidly deepening marine layer during this time also.

Models continue to indicate small chances for light precip Wednesday but best chances would likely be in the mountains and across 
SLO and northern  Santa Barbara Counties.

This system and its extremely cold air could bring us some impactful snow through the end of the week.

Snow levels will have already dropped to around 2000 by Wednesday morning so there is a chance for light snow across the Santa Lucias 
and other low mountain elevations of SLO/Santa Barbara Counties as well as the Grapevine on Interstate 5.

Thursday and Friday air continues to cool, Central Coast areas could see light snow down to around 1000 ft or slightly lower, meaning  places like Paso Robles and Atascadero along Highway 101 as well as Cuyama could see light snow and possibly around the hills surrounding San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Santa Ynez.

Daytime highs will take a dramatic drop Tuesday into Wednesday. Max temps will struggle to get much past 50-55 for much of the week.

Given the super cold air mass rain/snow ratios will be much higher than usual, possibly up to 15-20" of snow per inch of rain. If so this could be a 
prolific snow producer for the local mountains with up to two feet possible at the higher elevations and as much as 5-10" down to around 3000 ft. 

Most of the models are indicating rain/snow ending Friday night with dry but chilly weather Saturday.